Chelsea picks up road win against Pell City
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
PELL CITY – A balanced effort offensively with seven different players picking up hits and four scoring two runs led the Chelsea Hornets to a 9-3 road win against Pell City on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
The Hornets fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but bounced back to take the lead for good in the top of the third, as they held off a comeback effort from the Panthers by scoring five more combined runs in the final two innings of play to pull away for the victory.
After the first three base runners reached in the bottom of the first, Chelsea made a quick pitching change to Bennett Horton, who came in and only allowed one of those runners to score despite their being no outs when he entered with the bases loaded.
A quiet second inning ensued with Chelsea trailing 1-0, but in the top half of the third, the Hornets started making some noise.
A dropped third strike and a walk in the first two at bats not only allowed Nolan Forehand and Horton to reach base, but also saw a run cross the plate. After Forehand reached due to the dropped third strike to lead off the inning, he stole second. Later in Horton’s at bat, Forehand was able to score after the pitcher committed an error, which allowed him to round third and come home to tie the game.
After a line out form Carter Frederick, Will Peacock and Brady Morgan picked up back-to-back walks, which yet again brought in a run due to sharp base running.
During Morgan’s at bat, Peacock and Horton were on the corners. Peacock took off for second, and that distraction allowed Horton to come home to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead.
That lead was extended by a run one batter later when Turner Griffin singled on a line drive to center field to put the Hornets on top 3-1 through three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Chelsea added one more run to that total with a sac fly from Horton to drive in Forehand, who led the inning off by reaching on an error.
The Hornets took that lead into the bottom half of the fifth, but Pell City tried make plays on the base path as well and ended up scoring on a similar situation with a steal of home to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Chelsea, however, answered right back in the top of the sixth thanks to a keen eye at the plate, which seemingly became the final blow.
With one hit batter and three walks in the first four batters, Chelsea was able to bring a run home after Griffin walked with the bases loaded. Two batters later, Austin Frye did the same thing and walked in a sixth run of the game to extend Chelsea’s lead to 6-2 heading to the bottom half of the sixth.
Pell City brought home another run in that half of the frame thanks to two errors and a hit batter from the Hornets, but that 6-3 deficit was as close as the Panthers could get.
Chelsea stepped to the plate in the top of the final inning and put the game away. Horton singled to lead off the inning before Frederick doubled and Peacock hit an RBI-single to make it 8-3 with no outs in the inning.
Later in the inning, Jacob Boyle grounded out, but Peacock was able to cross the plate to extend the lead to its final score of 9-3, as Jacob Tinnell came in and got Pell City to go 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning.
Griffin went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBis and two walks, while Peacock had the same stat line adding two runs scored. Boyle, Horton and Frye all had one RBI and one hit in the game, while Connor Ball, Forehand and Frederick all had a hit in the win.
Horton went 4 1/3 innings on the mound allowing one hit and one run, while striking out five. Tinnell pitched the final 2 2/3 and allowed one hit and one run as well.
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